Having tried (and failed) to retire earlier in the year I am a little reluctant to say what the plans are for 2021, not least because I have very conflicting emotions: carry on and help the animals, stop and concentrate on our own animals and developing new ways to help the rescue cats and dogs.
Brexit is not adding any clarity, although it is clear that in order to travel into the EU to collect cats and dogs and bring them into the UK the van will need both the current DEFRA Certification and a EU Certification, and a Type 2 License will be required for both the EU and the UK.
My current DEFRA Certificates expire in July 2022, as does the Type 2 License which is in the company name (Marshall Innovations) so it covers anyone driving on behalf of Marshall Innovations.
Whatever happens I will not be renewing these.
As a property owner in Spain it would be possible to get OCA to certify a vehicle, but as we still use two vans that would be both expensive and logistically a bit of a nightmare, and I am not at all sure when I would be comfortable going to Spain …. certainly not until the COVID-19 vaccine had been rolled out to my age group and there was evidence that the cases had significantly flattened. Am no scientist but I reckon that will be July/August time.
Waiting that long effectively rules it out as an option, although a phased implementation post Brexit may help with that, but not going to hold my breath.
So unless anything significant changes from 1st January 2021 I will no longer be doing any transports that require a EU Certificate or License.
I suspect there is not enough UK based transport business to justify the cost of keeping the vans on the road.
It may be that post Brexit it is still an option to collect 20 animals in Calais on a UK License and Certificate, in which case I will consider doing that, but again not holding my breath. I have written to APHA to ask, but all I get in response are the standard replies with the latest possible conditions on.
All of which adds up to a great big NOT SURE as to the plans for 2021 but I am pretty much on the side of the fence that expects to be calling it a day totally.
That does NOT mean I wont help in the UK if there is an emergency, but my focus will be on finding a way to help without having to do anymore driving. As Marshall Innovations Limited holds the Type 2 License and the Eurotunnel Trade Account I think we may concentrate on being the UK representative for EU based transporters: we could help them get their DEFRA Certificate (from our registered company address in the UK), and we could sub contract the UK part of a transport to them so they could use our Type 2 License and we can book the Shuttle through our Trade Account. If we are not using our van we could also set something up where it was parked in Calais and our “partners” could use it to transport 20 animals over each time (and if they so desired they could sort out a EU Certificate for it).